A South Burlington woman was killed and her passenger injured in a head-on crash last week that police say was caused by a New York man driving under the influence.
On March 22 just before 7 a.m., Vermont State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash on Route 22A in Addison. Heavy, wet snow was falling and the road was snow-covered, police said.
Reports indicated that the female driver of one of the vehicles was entrapped, unresponsive and possibly not breathing. Upon arrival, police found a blue Subaru Impreza overturned and on its roof partially in the southbound lane of travel. The second vehicle, a red Honda Accord, was at a position of rest on the lawn of a private residence adjacent to the southbound lane of travel. The Honda had sustained heavy damage to the left side of the vehicle.
Preliminary investigation indicated that the blue Subaru, driven by Ian Labounty, 28, of Crown Point, N.Y., was traveling northbound, while the Honda, driven by Cecile Druzba, 57, of South Burlington, was traveling southbound. Police said Labounty traveled left of center and struck Druzba in the southbound lane. The impact between the vehicles caused the Subaru to overturn and come to rest on its roof while the Honda traveled off the roadway, coming to rest on a private lawn.
Both operators and a passenger in the Honda were transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, where Druzba died of her injuries. Her passenger, Jacques Marton, 52, also of South Burlington, was treated and released. Labounty was also treated and released.
Airbags had deployed in both vehicles.
Town Line Response, the Addison Volunteer Fire Department, Vergennes Area Rescue Squad and Vermont Agency of Transportation responded to the scene to assist.
During the course of the preliminary investigation, it was determined that Labounty may have fallen asleep while he was driving. It was learned that Labounty consumed impairing drugs that may have contributed to this sleepiness. Two drug recognition experts conducted a drug influence evaluation to determine if Labounty was impaired. This evaluation revealed that Labounty was under the influence and was unable to operate a vehicle safely. A sample of Labounty’s blood is pending toxicological analysis to conclusively determine the impairing substance. The investigation is continuing at this time.
Labounty was issued citations for violations of Driving Under the Influence: Drugs and Gross Negligent Operation with Death Resulting.